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Why On This Australia Day, I’m Proud To Be A Brisbane!

When I made a comment on Facebook as “Rossleigh Brisbane” someone attacked me saying that it was clearly a made-up name.

Nup. It’s mine. And I’m proud to be a “Brisbane”. Of course, my mother was a “Donald” and she was proud of that too, even though she happily changed her name to “Brisbane” when she married. My mother would tell us how proud she was of her Scottish heritage, even after I looked at the family tree that a relative had done, and pointed out to her that she had more English blood than Scottish.

I guess, I’m really only half a Brisbane. Actually when I think about it, my father was only half a “Brisbane” too, as was his father. By the time we work back to my ancestor, Peter Brisbane, who came out on the “Glenhuntly” in 1840, there’s hardly any “Brisbane” blood in my family tree.

Anyway, the point is that I’m a “Brisbane” because that’s the family that I indentify with, even though if you trace it back far enough, you’ll find that John Shaw changed his name to “Brisbane” when he married Elizabeth Brisbane, in order to inherit the castle.

But hey, nobody can tell me that I’m not a “Brisbane”.

When it comes to the Aboriginal population, however, we have people complaining that some people are indentifying as indigenous when they don’t fit Andrew Bolt’s criteria of what it means to be one of the first Australians. And as for some of “them” wanting to call it “Invasion day”, don’t they realise what Australia Day is all about?

While some people are putting memes on their Facebook page announcing their intention to proudly celebrate Australia Day, I can’t help but wonder what we’re celebrating. If it’s the idea that we’re celebrating what a great, diverse, inclusive place we are, then it seems strange to pick the 26th January for that date.

I mean, you’d understand that the Japenese may be offended if the anniversary of Hiroshima was chosen as the day to celebrate the achievements of Robert Oppenheimer or Christians may be upset if Good Friday was picked as “What the Romans Have Done For Us” day.

I know, I know, 26th January was that really important day in Australia’s history. But if you think about it, what was so important about it? A group of unwanted convicts and their guards arrived to start a penal colony. In the end, we’re celebrating the establishment of our first detention centre.

I’d rather a national holiday to celebrate Eureka or Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation or the invention of the stump jump plough. Something that’s a bit more inclusive.

Or if we’re going to stick with today’s date, why not change it to “Invasion day”. At least that way, it makes sense that it’s a day of sorrow for some, while others can run around showing respect for the Australian flag by wearing it round their shoulders while drunkenly declaring their love for Australia while hating nearly everybody in it and asserting that they’re not racist, but…

And, in that great Australian tradition, the rest of us can take off whatever day we like and actually celebrate whatever we feel is good about this country.



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  1. John Fraser


    Dump 26th January as the useless racist, bigoted, divisive bull titted day that it is and don't stop there, dump the Queen's birthday and let's have a piss up on that day and call it Australia day or Republic day.

    And while we're at it let's stop giving awards to twats who earn in excess of $500,000 a year for at least the last decade for doing their job ….. yeah David Gallop i'm talking about you …….. and lets give more recognition to people who do it as a labour of love :

  2. townsvilleblog

    Go for a Bex and a little lay down mate.

  3. John Knight

    Forty years ago there was a well known CSIRO scientist named Sydney Melbourne Brisbane, known informally as “Syd”. I guess his parents wanted to give him a greater geographical range.

  4. Rossleigh

    Gee, townsvilleblog, you’re living in the past! They stopped making Bex over thirty years ago.

  5. Jaiden

    Hey ! man stop being so Negative. This country’s aursome dude.Hey what’s a Bex man? Aussie Aussie Oye Oye Oye !

  6. diannaart

    How about 27 May 1967, when First Nation people were given voting rights?

    Or, how about a moveable feast Australia Day – whenever our nation does something good for humanity?

    Such as, the day when all detainees are released from our island concentration camps and resettled in Australia along with the necessary psychiatric and medical help they will need for the rest of their lives.

    Any move towards a more enlightened society deserves a celebration.

  7. tet02

    Here’s an idea that could gain traction. We could put Tiny Abbot on a boat and send him back home to his mother country, that would be an Australia Day everyone could celebrate regardless of race or religion. (Which reminds me what ever happened to the citizenship debacle the clown was embroiled in)?

  8. Jaquix

    There was a great play/show in Sydney years ago called “Have a cup of tea, a Bex and a Good Lie Down”. I still use the term occasionally and a few people remember it.

  9. Jaquix

    I love Australia Day but understand to our original inhabitants’ descendants, it marks the invasion of their country. Could we not skip or downplay the re-enactments, and make it a celebration of present day Australia and Australians?

  10. cornlegend

    I’m with you on that .
    We celebrate Australia Day .
    Right now I’m sitting on the verandah with family and friends, watching the grandkids swim in the dam and ride their quad bikes over the hills
    I occasionally glance at my two little wind turbines and remember how much Hockey hates them , and at the Solar panels that the LNP government send me my FIT cheque for, that we donate to a local youth refuge {fresh from an LNP state government }.
    I enjoy the fact that these acres are absolutely LNP Free Territory , my kids grew up here, got good educations and grew into worthy citizens.I celebrate the fact that they are successful in their careers, that me and the missus are self funded and get nothing from this rotten Government .
    Australia day for me is a day that reminds me we can do so much better, we have before, we can again

  11. diannaart

    January 26th remains the wrong date, a divisive date, an exclusive date.

  12. Sir ScotchMistery

    A page full of interesting thoughts as per usual on AIMN.

    As per usual, the Townsvilleblog opines that anything remotely positive should be addressed by banks and a good lie down, but that should be taken in context since Townsville is considered to be Australia’s most racist city. I’m yet to hear any defence of it from the good burghers of that town, attempting to remove that particular blot, so for the moment it can stay there.

    in terms of Townsvilleblog living in the past, that particular city is one of the only ones that still exists in about 1872, where they used to take great enjoyment in grabbing 30 men and 30 guns and pop out and massacre a group of people that didn’t look like them. They still vote for the likes of J Bjelke-Petersen without realising that he’s been dead for some years, since that’s about the limit of their intellect.

    Jaquix asks about the debacle wherein the Prime Minister of this country sat in contravention of section 44 of the Constitution. I have asked that question of a dozen politicians and not one of them want to touch it. It means that our Constitution is essentially meaningless, we do not expect politicians to be accountable and I have to confess I was rather chuffed to see that funny little thing from Tasmania (aBetts), being forced to renounce his German citizenship in 2012.

    I suspect there are a lot of issues surrounding this in terms of just how much weight a law would hold if the Parliament was found to be sitting illegally with a Prime Minister/leader of a particular party not being entitled to be sitting in that Parliament. My only suggestion is that that is why none of them will address the issue.

    @Corn legend, mate I look forward to being in the same situation that I have to tell you there will be no dams, and my view will be of a red soil Street, a couple of boab trees, a chair on the side of the road under those trees with a small table and an esky. But I celebrate needing nothing from this turd of a government.

  13. diannaart

    Finally got off my arse and hung a rather special photo that I received for my birthday a long, long time ago from my ex – (my last ex). It is an original photo of Nicky Winmar (played for my team the Saints) and James Brown (still alive when pic taken) – which gives an idea of just how long I have had this photo.

    Part of the reason for such a delay was because my then lover, had written in the margins of the photo – managed to crop his undying love from the photo and now it hangs (the photo) in my dining room.

    I was fortunate to see the Godfather of Funk at the Metro (in Melbourne) back in the late 80’s and saw many a St Kilda game, even the one where Nicky raised the hem of his football jumper and pointed out that the skin of his body matched his face.

    This is my tribute to today – to an inclusive Australia.

    Yes, I am feelin’ gooood.

  14. Sen Nearly Ile

    we used to think bex made coke alcoholic so often lifted a powder from mum and got drunk mentally and just as effectively as when we were older and got ‘stuck into’ the scotch ie 3 sips, each one followed by a bleah and a cough.(or was that from the fag we stole???)
    Bex killed a lot of women before it was taken off the market but is making a return in pommieland as an extender for cocaine. Snorting, by avoiding the liver and kidneys, might be ‘clean’ of cancer????
    Grants substance should not be hidden by the trivia of today. The vast majority are. like rossleigh’s name, far removed from the english,
    Australia day, will be the day. the union jack disappears from our flag.

  15. cornlegend

    Sir ScotchMistery
    “I have to tell you there will be no dams”
    mate, the dams are our dams, not some huge government created thing .
    They have multiple uses, for the gardens, our animals, filtered for our tanks etc .
    Oh yeah, and the kids swimming, they prefer it to the pool
    I hope you get you table under the trees real soon

  16. Matthew Oborne

    After trying genocide on the Irish, selling the irish as slaves they hit upon a wonderful idea of sending the irish here to suffer and to toil.
    why anyone has anything positive to celebrate on this day other than the British is beyond me.

    Why would descendants of any group that the British tried to wipe out celebrate this day?

  17. Alison White

    There are probably many people spontaneously thinking along similar lines – Australia Day is an unsuitable thing to be celebrating. Let’s be truthful and call it the ‘last days of summer BBQ grog fest’.

  18. keerti

    Makes sense to me Mathew Osborne, but then we celebrate the muderous tretchery of the english sending New Zealanders and Australians to die at anzac cove. There seems to be a lack of logic all over our national celebrations.
    Alison, perhaps an extension would bein order , “Australia Day is a celebration of burnt meat, national alcoholism with a sauce of racial bigotry.”

  19. cornlegend

    It’s Indias 67th Republic day today, 26th January
    The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent republic. 26 January was chosen as the Republic day because it was on this day in 1930 when the Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status offered by the British Regime.

    Now, it has to be our turn

  20. Harry.V.Dirchy

    Personally, I figure we actually became a nation on the 1st of January and that’s when Australia Day should be. Bugger the tub thumping about the Irish, the Indians, genocide or Rodney Allcock’s Cortina breaking down on the 26th. But hey, that’s just me an’ I’m not trying to get all intellectual about it. That’s just wot I fink.

  21. Harry.V.Dirchy

    p.s. And yes we Dirchy’s are immigrants. There woz always somebody sayin’ goodbye.

  22. Lee

    The fact that we persist in celebrating Australia Day on the day a captain called Cook dropped anchor off Botany Bay in 1778 shows how alive the set of racist assumptions packed in his trunk before setting off are.

  23. Rossleigh

    Actually, Lee, Captain Cook landing on April 29th, 1770/ Australia Day is the anniversary of the landing of the First Fleet and the convicts.

  24. Barry Thompson.

    When I was a baby and did not sleep well through the night, my Mother would give me a handful of Bex and hit me over the head with a rubber plumber’s mallet.
    Had she not done that I could have been a brain surgeon.
    As it is I now only qualify to be a LNP politician.

  25. lawrencewinder

    Call me a “Jeremiah” if you want but having just watched the news and seen what we call “celebrations of Australia Day”… I couldn’t help thinking that there was a tone of desperation in the sheer number and variety of festivities. Then a military man (retired), as Aussie of the Year who has made ONE call on gender issues has been nominated by a writer of historical self-portraits (Fitzsimons) as our first President of a Republic…I feel a fit-up!
    I also feel that the desperation implies that we, well and truly, have lost our way in the miasma of commercialist pap, advertising and spin!

    And that Mitch Hooke, a mining advocate who was responsible for a campaign against fair taxes being paid by this destructive industry get’s a gong ….shows how bereft of social consciousness this ruling rabble is… what a farce. What a joke they expect us to believe in! It’s a wonder they didn’t give an OA to “Kero-Bath” Bishop for services to transport!

  26. Max Gross (@Max_Gross)

    Did I just miss Straya Daze AGAIN! Damn! Happens every bloody year! And I’m probably drinking the wrong beer too!

  27. Bronte ALLAN

    Surely Australia day should be the day we were declared one nation, January 1st, 1901? The Queens birthday should be moved to January 26 & called Invasion Remembrance Day, or something similar. As for this stupid “Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi” crap, this “chant” comes form Britain & it goes like this, “Oggi Oggi Oggi Oy Oy Oy”. Not sure just what is is chanted for, but it is NOT an Australian “thing”!

  28. jim

    I remember at school we were taught that Australia day was very very serious and we should be forever thankful for the Britts. now I just think what crap we were taught. why Christmas = $ money stupid $ money.

  29. Jimmy

    My god most of you people have lost joy in your lives with all your bofficionado views.
    I went with friends to a pub, saw a band of young Aussies who have written all of their own songs and music.
    Saw loads of people from all different backgrounds have a wonderful afternoon.
    There comes a time when you need to lighten up and forget all your political crap and relevance to certain dates.
    Look around this planet folks and realise how lucky we still are in this country.
    Not everyone who doesn’t agree with your views is a racist or a bigot.
    Like I said, lighten up
    you will be dead before you know it.

  30. Matters Not

    Jimmy, great post.

    You sum up our ‘political’ problems very well.

    As for being ‘dead’, in the political sense at least, I think you’ve achieved that well before your time.

    But lighten up.

    Is a ‘resurrection’ possible?

  31. Möbius Ecko

    So Australia Day should be changed to Lighten Up Day and all political and historic views banned on the day in pursuit of enlightenupment.

    I wish the same sentiment was extended to the republican movement who are rampant on the day, the flag changing movement, the racist movements, the MSM and many others who are not enlightenedup on Australia Day. But yes on the whole for most it is a day of relaxation and fun, more for it being a holiday coming soon after a major holiday break than anything else.

    Here’s the curious thing though. There are those, including many here, that can have an enlightenedup day and express serious views on a blog about that day. What a alien concept that is.

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